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mood, especially so before the infinitive of purpose, which, as in French, always takes for before it.
[Yùe nau' u ded'n gèo' vur dùe-t,] you know he did not intend to do it.
Maister's gwain same purpose vor spake to the jistices vor me.
[Yùe noa: kyaa'l vur zai aew' yùe zeed mee:,] you (have) no need to say that you saw me.
[Aay bún aup-m taew'n vur bespai:k tùe: nùe pae'ur u buets, búd dhoa-l Júm Ee-ul waud'n au'm, búd uurzaed 'aew ee shd uurn daew'n tue wau'ns,] I (have) been up into (the) town to bespeak two new pairs of boots, but old Jim Hill was not at home, but she said he should run down at once.
It will here be noticed that in the two last examples the verb have is omitted, and in similar negative expressions it is generally so left out.
[Yùe noa: kizh-un,] for you have no occasion, is very common. So the perfect tense of to be (omitted from my Grammar) is, I bin, or I've a-bin. Thee's a-bin. He bin, or he've a-bin. We bin, or we've a-bin. You bin, or you've a-bin. They bin, or they've a-bin.
The preposition to, if sometimes omitted in the dialect, is more often used redundantly. Certain adverbs of place seem to require it as a complement, and in these cases it comes always at the end of a sentence or clause.
I can't tell wherever her's a-go to. Where's a-bin and put the gimlet to! I can't think wherever they be to.
Again, to not only is always used for at, as fully explained in W. S. Gram. p. 89, but the same preposition has to do duty for in. Her do live to Wilscombe, to service, and we zend vor her, vor come home to once.
Mr. Burge to Ford zaid to me to zebm o'clock last niglit, eens Mrs. Jones to shop was dead to last, and they zess how her keept on to work to her lace-making up home to her death, to the very least dree hours a day. Jones, he was to skittles in to Half Moon hon her died; he don't care nort ’t-all about it; he's so good hand to emptin' o'cloam 's you'll vind here and there. Her's gwain to be a-buried to cemetery to dree o'clock marra t'arternoon.
So also to is used in some cases before the gerund. I've a-tookt all Mr. Jones's grass to cutting. They was a-tookt purty well to doing, 'bout thick there job.
To is frequently heard where in would be used in standard English. I bide to Lon'on gin I was that bad I could'n bide no longer.
Another form of to means like ; in that manner. Instead of saying, “ It will do so,” we say, “He'll do to that.” For “Let it stay as it is,” we should say, “Let'n bide to that." For “ It will
well in that position," " He'll do very well to that.” So also, to means out of, in connection with doors. A publican is always said “to put 'em all to doors,” when he clears his house. “Go to doors !” is the expression always used to drive a dog out of the house.
The prepositions for and on are often omitted in the dialect in cases when they are necessary to literary Eng. For the purpose,
. on purpose, are (sae'um puur pus), and I submit that the vernacular is by far the most expressive form.
I com'd in same purpose vor to zee 'ee, but you wadn home, i.e. I came specially and solely for the very purpose of seeing you.
“On purpose” is used in the peculiar sense of “with full intention." A boy struck by another who affirms that the blow was accidental, would say, under the smart, “ You'm a liard, thee's do it o' purpose"—i. e. intentionally. In this we cannot fail to see the analogy of the literary asleep.
The preposition in often has the meaning of at or for in connection with money or price.
They ax me vor to gee in vor the job, zo I gid in vor puttin' up o' the wall, but Lor! I could'n 'vord vor do't in no jish money's he've a-tookt it in.
To "give in" means “to tender”; to give in an estimate.
In speaking of particular seasons, it is very usual to duplicate day when it is desired to emphasize
'Twas Lady-day day beyond all the days in the wordl. Her'll be vifteen year old come Mechelmas-day day. I mind your poor father died 'pon Kirsmas-day day. They zess you can have possession 'pon Midsummer-day day.
Again at Whitsuntide it is usual to speak of Whitesn Sunday, Whitesn Monday, Whitesn Tuesday, &c.
In constructing our sentences, the subject is very often placed at the end of the clause, or at least after the predicate.
Idn never gwain to get no better, my poor old umman, I be afeard. Do go terr'ble catchin', I zim, thick 'oss. Also see PLATTY.
So also the construction, whether plural or singular, depends on the idea, and not upon the form of the noun. For example-zids (soap-suds) are plural in lit. Eng., but in the dialect precede a verb in the singular, while broth on the other hand is always plural.
Things, meaning cattle or vermin, pinchers, tongs, stairs, all take verbs in the singular.
By way of bringing the peculiarities of our dialect into direct contrast with the Midland, the basis of modern literary English, I have taken Dr. Evans's Leicester Glossary, and have distinctly set out below many forms therein given which are not known to us, for the reason that it is often as important for a student to know what is not done in a district, as to be informed on points which many localities have in common. I have also noted others common to both localities.
1. Nor, meaning than, common elsewhere, is not heard in the West. “Yourn is better nor mine” could not be said by a Somerset or Devon native.
2. The uninflective genitive (see Evans's Leicester Gloss. p. 22), “ The Queen Cousin,” is unknown.
3. The redundant article used in Leicestershire (Ib. p. 23), with such (e. g. It is a such a handsome cat), is never heard.
4. The (Ib. p. 23) is not omitted where used in literary English. On the contrary, it is often used when not needed in literary construction. With all diseases it is used
The cheel ’ve a got the measles-the scarlet fever, &c. I've a-got the rheumatic ter’ble bad. Her's bad a-bed wi' th' infermation o' the lungs.
Also before trades, as
He do work to the taildering. My boy've a-larned the calenderin. We've a-boun' un purtice to the shoemakerin.
In these latter cases the form is that which would be used in speaking to a superior, and its use implies that the person addressed is not familiar with the trade. Indeed, the has a force analogous to this here, as before explained in the sense of unfamiliar, new-fangled, or supposed to be so by the person addressed.
Again, in speaking of any person, whenever the description old or young is prefixed, it is always the old, the young.
I yeard th' old butcher Davy zay how the young farmer Hawkins had a-tookt a farm.
This form is invariable in the Exmoor Scolding.
The (Ib. p. 23) is never omitted in the West before a thing to which attention is called. We should not say—“ Look at fire,” as in Leicester, but “ Look to the vire."
5. Better seems to stand for more everywhere. We say— I'd a-got better'n a dizen one time.
6. The inflections of comparison can be added to all participles as well as adjectives proper. (Ib. p. 25.)
There idn no more gurt vorheadeder holler-mouth in all the country.
'Tis the most pickpocketins (i. e. pickpocketingest) concarn iver you meet way in all your born days.
7. Them (Ib. p. 26) is never used as a nominative, except in the interrogative forms, Did'em? have 'em ? be 'em ?
We could not say “them books” either as a nominative or accusative-our corresponding demonstrative is they.
8. We is not heard as a possessive (Ib. p. 26). Occasionally, to children, you and he are used as possessives—Tommy, gi' me you ’an. Where's he purty book ?
Hisn, hern, ourn, yourn, theirn, are not heard.
We is not used reflectively. We should say, We'll go and warsh urzuls, and get ur teas; never warsh we.
Its does not exist in the dialects of the West. If the need arises for a neuter possessive pronoun, which can be only in respect of abstract or indefinite nouns (see W. S. Gram. p. 29), the form is o' it It must never be forgotten that all nouns capable of taking a before them are masculine or feminine (very few of the latter). “It was not a bad sermon, though its drift was uncertain," would have to be paraphrased, " The sarment wadn so bad, but the manin o’un wadn
9. What is with us, as in Leicester, used as a relative redundantly (Ib. p. 26). 'Tis the very sanie's what I told 'ee. They baint nit quarter so good as they, what I had last.
10. This-n, that-n, &c. (Ib. p. 27), are never heard, but we often add a genitive inflection on to the demonstratives- this, thick.
[Dhee uzez brús-tez bee deep'ur-n dhiks, bee u braeruv suy't,] this-es breasts be deeper than thick's, by a brave sight.
II. That (p. 27) is not used in such phrases as I do that, I can that, &c. We should in such cases say I do zo, but the expression would sound pedantic or affected in native ears, and savour too much of the board school.
12. Sen (p. 27) or sens are unknown with us. Self, whether alone or in combination, is always zul.
13. We know nothing of the en (p. 27) added to monosyllabic verbs—we even drop it where found in lit. Eng.--. g. to hark, to wide, to hard, to fresh, to thick, to quick, to ripe, to hap, &c.; but in words where the en is part of its original form, as in token, nasten, we retain it. So also we drop the er in to lower.
I heard a man speaking of rats, say, “I reckon I've a-low'd they a bit.” And another man who was levelling for me a short time ago, said, “ Must low thick there 'ump ever so much."
It will be noted that we in the West do not make any use of the past participial inflection en, as in beaten, drawn, flown, so common elsewhere. A-knowed, a-zeed, a-gid, a-do'd (sometimes a-doned), a-tookt, a-forsookt, a-beat, a-valled, a-stoled-are our forms. inclined to think a-don'd is quite a recent development, yet adjectivally we constantly use the form, boughten bread. (See p. 232.)
14. We should not comprehend can or could in the infinitive, to can, to could (1b. p. 31). We should simply leave out the relative“He's the man can do it ;” and in the other sentence—"I used to be able vor do it in half the time."
15. What Dr. Evans calls the redundant “have” (p. 31) in the pluperf. conditional, is nothing but the old past participial prefix. “Nif I'd a-zeed 'n "would be our form.
I agree with Dr. Evans that such forms as Where bin I? How bin you? are spurious creations of dialect writers (see Preface, p. v), who have perhaps learnt a little German, but do not know other than literary English.
16. No such negative form of verb as havena (p. 31), or hanna, wasna, worna, &c., are known in the West.
I am astonished at the existence of fourteen forms of "I am not," as given by Dr. Evans (p. 31). The W. S. is as copious as any dialect, and it knows but two forms, 1 baint, and the emphatic I be not. Of course “I ain't” is heard, but only among those who talk fine, and speak the Cockney dialect learnt at board schools,
17. We never use on instead of from or of (p. 32). We say a lot o'm, not a lot on em; had'n vrom me, not had it on me. We use the word off after buy. I bought thick oaf o' Jim Smith.
As before mentioned, before nouns denoting points of time, we perhaps use on, though contracted to a mere breathing. Your boots 'll be a-dood a Zadurday night, would be our regular form;